Isle of Man TT – 2011 review

The TT over for another year – I missed it again – but here are a few minutes of footage to get the adrenaline going! If you want more go to the official TT site here: where you can order a DVD of the 2011 highlights.

Karina Boat trips

Nominated for the Isle of Man Tourist Awards Best Coastal Experience

Enjoy a relaxing coastal cruise aboard the Isle of Man’s largest pleasure boat, the classic M V Karina. See the stunning Manx coastline with its pretty bays and towering cliffs; all sorts of wild life may be observed including numerous varieties of sea birds, seals, porpoises, dolphins, basking sharks and whales; along with shipwrecks, lighthouses and interesting historical buildings.

The Karina normally sails from the Villiers Steps on Douglas Promenade, opposite the Jubilee Clock near the Sea Terminal. At low water the Karina sails from the Sea Terminal Floating Landing Stage and passengers are asked to assemble for boarding in the Sea Terminal Departure Lounge. The point of departure for a particular cruise will be shown on the timetable. Advance booking is not required and tickets are available on board.

On landing cruises one way tickets are available and many choose to travel from, say, Laxey by boat and return by Horse and Electric Trams back to the departure point.

Private parties and charters welcome. For up-to-date sailing details and departure times, please see the notices on this website, in the Isle of Man Courier or on the blackboards displayed adjacent to the Villiers Steps. Alternatively telephone (07624) 493592, (01624) 617436 or (01624) 861724.

The principal technical details of the Karina are:

  • Launched 17th June 1946, maiden voyage 27th July 1946.
  • Overall length 66 ft, breadth 14.9 ft, depth 5.7 ft, freeboard 3 ft.
  • Constructed of carvel planking, laid over oak frames.
  • Her powerful Gardner diesel engine develops 127 bhp at 1,500 rpm which gives a service speed of 9 knots with more in reserve if necessary.

The 100-passenger Karina is fully equipped with the latest safety equipment, has toilet, snack bar, covered saloon accommodation and large open deck space. A full commentary is provided on every trip. The Karina is licenced by the Isle of Man Government for passenger voyages and she is fitted out for the convenience and comfort of passengers. The Karina is available for public cruises, coach parties and for private charter and corporate hospitality trips during which live entertainment or taped music can be arranged if required.

The History of the m.v. Karina

The Karina is a very special ship and was built more than half a century ago for ferry excursion work in and around the famous Plymouth Sound. Originally named ‘May Queen’, she was the last passenger ferry built for the Oreston & Turnchapel Steamboat Co. Ltd., and was constructed to a design which has its origins in the company’s old steam powered ferries built in the 1880’s. The Karina was built in 1946 by Philip and Sons Ltd., of Dartmouth at their Noss Shipyard on the River Dart.

After twelve years mainly on the Plymouth ferry run, she was sold to the rival Millbrook Steamboat & Trading Co. Ltd. in 1957, and following major refurbishment was renamed the ‘Eastern Belle’. She served the Millbrook company’s River Tamar routes until 1985 but by then the Millbrook company had been taken over by Dart Pleasure Craft Ltd. so after 1983 from time to time, the ‘Eastern Belle’ was also to be found at Dartmouth when required. In 1985 she was sold to Plymouth Boat Cruises Ltd., for whom she operated until 1988.

At the end of that year, she was sold to G H Ridalls & Sons of Dartmouth and in March 1989 was renamed ‘Totnes Princess’ and commenced service from Dartmouth to picturesque Totnes, and on trips out to sea as far as Torquay and Hallsands. Ten years later the Ridalls’ sold their fleet to Dart Pleasure Craft Ltd. who had by then recently been bought out by Dart Valley Railway Plc.

Being surplus to requirements at Dartmouth in September 2000, the ‘Totnes Princess’ was inspected by the Laxey Towing Company Ltd. Having until very recently had passenger certificates for river and sea going trips, the ship was found to be in excellent condition and fully equipped with modern life saving equipment. The ‘Totnes Princess’ was purchased by the Company for coastal service in Manx waters where she arrived in April 2001. After thorough overhaul and survey on the slipway in Ramsey, the classic ship was renamed ‘Karina’ (after the famous 1913-built Manx excursion vessel of the same name) and was duly issued with an Isle of Man Class VI passenger certificate for 100 passengers and 5 crew. The ‘Karina’ is included on the prestigious National Maritime Museum’s register of historic ships.


For further details please contact the managing director Captain Stephen Carter at the registered office: Clovenstones Cottage, Baldrine, Isle of Man IM4 6DS – Tel: (01624) 861724. The harbour office: 30, North Quay, Douglas, Isle of Man IM1 4LD – Tel: (01624) 617436. Or on mobile number (07624) 493592.

Jurby Transport Museum

Jurby Transport Museum is operated by Manx Transport Trust Ltd, a registered charity, based in unit 230, a World War II hangar built in 1940, on the former Jurby airfield.

The museum displays examples of public and commercial road transport using a combination of vehicles on loan from the Department of Community, Culture & Leisure and Douglas Corporation Transport, together with privately owned vehicles, and vehicles owned by the Trust.

In addition to restoration and display, the Museum seeks to inform visitors of the Island’s transport history and to promote the necessary interest and skills to enable the maintenance and expansion of the facility for the future.

The Museum, which is staffed by volunteers, and operates without government funding, was opened at Easter 2010.

Admission to the museum is free though donations are always welcome.

Upper Douglas Cablecar 73 at Jurby Transport Museum. Photo © Mike Howland.

The Manx Transport Trust are very active as a visit to their website will confirm and if you’re visiting the north of the island be sure to call in.

The museum is open at Weekends & Bank Holidays from 10.00am – 4.00pm


Isle of Man TT Races



The Manx Grand Prix motorcycle races, which date back to 1923, are held on the  TT Course (or ‘Mountain Circuit’) every year for a two-week period usually spanning the end of August and early September. The ‘MGP’  is considered to be the amateur riders’ alternative to the IoM TT Races held in May and June. The event also differs from the TT in that it does not cater for sidecars but is nonetheless very exciting to watch.

This year’s Manx Grand Prix Festiva will take place between Saturday 20 August and Friday 2 September 2011.



The Southern 100 , which dates back to 1955, is run over the the 4.25 mile ‘Billown Circuit’ just north of Castletown in July of each year. A very different circuit to the TT Course but just as deadly and exciting – and there are sidecars!

This YouTube video gives you some idea of the terrain and dangers.

Groudle Glen Railway

Groudle Glen is best reached by taking the electric tram from Derby Castle to Groudle where a short walk down the beautifully wooded glen will bring you to the terminus at Lhen Coan (The lonely place) . The railway originally opened in 1896 and went through the usual cycle of boom and bust with final closure coming in 1962. Much of the original equipment was destroyed during the following years and the railway’s trackbed returned to nature. However, in 1982 the railway was awoken from its slumber by the Isle of Man Steam Railway Supporters’ Association who set about restoring the line as a tourist attraction. Full reopening took place in 1986 and since then the little railway has gone from strength to strength with the emphasis in recent years being on bringing it back to its authentic Victorian appearance. Make the journey down the glen if you get a chance, you won’t regret it, and even in chilly weather the railway, and its welcoming tearoom at Sea Lion Rocks, is a pleasant diversion from the real world.

Busy scene at Lhen Coan in 2009